Third Circuit Reverses Course, Holds Debt Collection Letters Do Not Need to State That Challenges to the Debt Under 1692g(a)(3) Need to Be in Writing

In a decision approve for publication, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, sitting en banc, recently reversed its prior holding and held that a debt collection letter does not need to expressly state that the debtor must dispute the validity of the debt in writing under Section 1692g(a)(3) of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”).  See Riccio v. Sentry Credit, Inc., 954 F.3d 582 (3d Cir. 2020).

West Virginia Supreme Court Holds Title Insurer Has No Duty to Defend Action Regarding Shared Roadway Based on Survey and Parties in Possession Exceptions

The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia recently held that a title insurance company had no duty to defend or indemnify an insured property owner for an issue regarding a shared roadway because the roadway itself was not part of the insured property, and the claim was barred by the survey and parties in possession exceptions.  See Tritapoe v. Old Republic Nat’l Title Ins. Co., 2020 WL 1487813 (W. Va. Mar. 23, 2020).

Connecticut Appellate Court Finds Lender’s Actual Loss Under Title Policy Is Limited to Amount Paid in Tax Foreclosure Sale Minus Tax Lien Amount

The Appellate Court of Connecticut recently held that a lender’s loss under a title insurance policy is limited to the amount paid at a tax sale foreclosure minus the amount of taxes, regardless of what the court in the lender’s own foreclosure action found to be the fair market value.  See RCN Capital, LLC v. Chicago Title Insurance Company, 196 Conn. App. 528 (2020).

Remote Notarization Laws Amid COVID-19

In response to the growing COVID-19 pandemic, many state governors and legislators have swiftly moved to pass laws—either by executive order (“EO”) or traditional legislative processes—to allow notaries to remotely carry out their duties while maintaining social distancing practices and abiding by stay-at-home orders.

Ninth Circuit Finds Debt Assignee Can Be Liable Under the FDCPA, Even If It Did Not Communicate with Debtor

In a split decision, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently held that a company that “buys and profits from consumer debts” can be liable under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (the “FDCPA”) even if it does not directly communicate with any consumers.  See McAdory v. M.N.S. & Assocs., LLC, 2020 WL 1128813 (9th Cir. Mar. 9, 2020). 

Remote Notarization in New York in the Age of COVID-19

In response to the COVID-19 virus, lawmakers across the country are scrambling to pass a number of measures to blunt the ill effects of the pandemic to allow for real estate and loan closings.  Specifically, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has taken steps to enable “remote notarizations” in an effort to maintain social distancing practices.